The Sakharov Prize Network (SPN)
The Sakharov Prize Network was born out of the Sakharov Prize the European Parliament awards for outstanding work in favour of human rights.
The Sakharov Prize Network (SPN) comprises laureates of the Sakharov Prize and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). It was launched at the European Parliament in 2008, when the Sakharov Prize celebrated its 20th anniversary. Its creation recognised 'the special role of Sakharov Prize winners as Ambassadors for Freedom of Thought', and its members 'agreed to enhance joint efforts in support of human rights defenders around the world through common actions by the Sakharov Prize winners jointly and under the aegis of the European Parliament'.
The Sakharov Prize Network broadly connects MEPs, laureates, and civil society to increase cooperation on human rights action in Brussels and internationally. It serves as a channel of communication that enables the laureates and Parliament to address human rights violations and issues. Its members regularly give Sakharov lectures around the EU to raise awareness of human rights issues and spark public debate in the European capitals.
The network has come together for conferences in 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016. The Sakharov Prize Network conferences are a forum of debate among MEPs, laureates, representatives of the European Union and other international institutions and civil society, and serve as a basis for enhanced network action for human rights.
On the 25th anniversary of the prize in 2013, the network adopted a declaration in which members of the network pledged their support jointly and individually to the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide through a number of actions.
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The EP Sakharov Prize Network Newsletter is a regular publication sent to MEPs and Sakharov Prize Laureates.